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Yasuke Anime Nominated for NAACP Image Award, Summit of the Gods Animated Film Wins Lumiere Award

Jan 20, 2022 10:16 AM

The NAACP announced nominees for the 53rd NAACP Image Awards, and it revealed that LeSean Thomas and MAPPA's Yasuke anime has been nomimated for Oustanding Animated Series. The NAACP Image Awards will take place on February 26 at 8:00 p.m. EST on BET.

The France-Luxembourg animated film of Jiro Taniguchi's The Summit of the Gods (Kamigami no Itadaki) manga won in the Best Animation Film category at France's Lumières International Press Awards.

The Yasuke anime debuted in April 2021 worldwide on Netflix.

Netflix describes the story:

In a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs and magic, the greatest ronin never known, Yasuke, struggles to maintain a peaceful existence after a past life of violence. But when a local village becomes the center of social upheaval between warring daimyo, Yasuke must take up his sword and transport a mysterious child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords. The story of Yasuke, the first African samurai who actually served the legendary Oda Nobunaga, will be released to the world.

Satoshi Iwataki (A Certain Magical Index, Dororo) was the chief animation director, and Takeru Satō was the chief technical director. Kenichi Shima (Parasyte -the maxim-) was in charge of sub-character designs, and Minoru Nishida (Dagashi Kashi 2) was in charge of world art design and art setting. Junichi Higashi (Cowboy Bebop, Kingdom) directed the art, Yuki Nomoto (Dorohedoro) was the 3D CG director, and Hyo Gyu Park was the compositing director of photography. Azusa Sasaki (Zombie Land Saga) was the color key artist, and Mutsumi Takemiya (Dororo, Azur Lane) edited the show.

The story's protagonist is based on the historical figure Yasuke, a samurai of African origin who served under Oda Nobunaga during Japan's Warring States period in the 16th century.

LeSean Thomas (Children of Ether, Cannon Busters, The Boondocks) is credited as creator, director, and executive producer for Yasuke, and Flying Lotus composed the music and served as executive producer. Takeshi Koike (Redline) designed the characters. Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Sorry to Bother You) voiced Yasuke in the English dub. MAPPA (Yuri!!! on Ice, Kakegurui) produced the animation.

Yasuke Anime Nominated for NAACP Image Award, Summit of the Gods Animated Film Wins Lumiere Award

Netflix has the worldwide rights to the The Summit of the Gods film outside of France, Benelux, China, Japan, and Korea. Netflix released the film in select U.S. theaters on November 24 and in select U.K. theaters on November 26. The film began streaming on Netflix on November 30.

The film screened in July at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Official Selection, and opened in theaters in France on September 22 under the title Le Sommet des dieux. The film also opened the Animation Is Film Festival in Los Angeles on October 22.

Patrick Imbert (Ernest & Celestine) directed the film, and Magali Pouzol and Imbert wrote the script with Jean-Charles Ostorero collaborating. David Coquard-Dassault (Peripheria) was the film's art director. Amine Bouhafa composed the music. Diaphana Distribution is distributing the film in France, while Wild Bunch International has the international rights. Didier Brunner (The Triplets of Belleville, Kirikou and the Sorceress) is producing the film. Cartoon Brew describes the film as a 2D/3D hybrid.

The manga is itself an adaptation of Baku Yumemakura's novel. The story follows Fukamachi, an avid wilderness photographer who discovers a link to the past in Kathmandu, Nepal. He finds a camera supposedly belonging to George Mallory, a mountaineer who went missing on Mt. Everest. After meeting Joji Habu, a well-known climber with a passionate drive for the mountain, the two set off to uncover a piece of lost history.

The series ran in Shueisha's Business Jump, and European company Fanfare / Ponent Mon publishes the manga in English. Taniguchi passed away on February 11, 2017.

Sources: Deadline (link 1 [Valerie Complex], link 2 [Tom Grater])